The Orem Model: Care About Patient’s Inner Desire

The most important and priority function of the health care system is prevention. For this reason, nursing is one of the essential components of the health care system of any country. Health care personnel can suggest ways of prevention to reduce the incidence of disease. Nurses are no longer secondary employees, and their work is of fundamental social importance, and various modern theories and methods modify patient care. This work aims to study Dorothea Orem’s theory as a kind of care theory.

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The importance of different theories and models of nursing for the development of the specialty is very high. Whereas in the past, the nurse just cared for seriously ill patients, the current state of affairs makes it a priority for nurse’s jobs to maintain their health. For this reason, there has been an intensive growth of various theories of care. The main feature of these models is that they are inclusive and provide each patient with the necessary attention (Martsolf, Gordon, May, Mason, Sullivan, & Villarruel, 2016). One such theory is that of Dorothea Orem, an American nurse and theorist.

The Orem model differs from all other models in that it considers a person as a whole. The defining principle of this model is self-care, as Orem believes that people carry out their own life and health activities independently (Smith & Parker, 2015). The model focuses on personal responsibility for one’s health, but there is also a strong emphasis on nursing interventions to prevent disease, injury, and learning. Adults and self-sufficient people have to rely on themselves first and foremost and take responsibility for their dependents while maintaining their health.

In the Orem model, the patient is a single functional system with the motivation to take care of themselves. In other words, Orem believes that a person can take care of himself or herself regardless of his or her state of health. In this model, the nurse tries to achieve short-term and long-term goals that contribute to the patient’s recovery through self-care. In addition, in this system, the patient must be informed not only about the goals of external care but also about the planned nursing interventions. Medical staff may intervene in the patient’s self-care process, but this assistance should be limited to the expansion of self-help opportunities, which will lead to recovery.

The American theorist identifies three main groups of patient needs. It is interesting to note that the process of improving health is inextricably linked to the patient’s transition between need levels. Thus, according to Smith (2015), Dorothea Orem identified universal needs, development needs, and needs related to health disorders. The first includes such physiological needs of the patient as thirst, hunger, and rest. Developmental needs are usually met by all adults who are learning and nurturing.

The last group of health-related needs is related to hereditary, congenital, and acquired diseases and injuries. The integration of the requirements described determines whether or not a person needs extreme care. In doing so, the decisive criterion for assessing the quality and outcomes of such care should be an analysis of the patient’s and family’s future capacity for self-care.

This model allows nurses to realize their role in the field of health care and perfectly complements the activities of other health care professionals. By conducting an initial examination of a patient’s condition, the nurse determines whether or not they need help. As an example, in the case of gypsum, a patient after a fractured shin bone, the nurse assumes that he or she needs external support. There is a power imbalance between some of the patient’s universal needs and their ability to take care of themselves, such as active movement.

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In modern clinical practice, there is an interest in introducing the idea of Orem for rehabilitation. A patient is a 62-year-old man with left-handed paralysis due to cerebrovascular disease. The purpose of this article was to determine the effectiveness of this method of treatment for different types of patients. According to Naz (2019), such a patient was not satisfied with the progress in medicine, as he received almost no care from nurses. In this sense, such a model cannot be used for patients requiring complete care, infants, or older people. In addition, medical staff using the theory of self-care should adequately determine the level of care needed by the patient.

There are three service options: a wholly compensating care system, a partially compensating system, and a supporting system. The first option is suitable for patients with low mobility and disability. The use of the second system is suitable in cases where the patient does not need strong care, while the third system imposes a minimum of functions on nurses. The peculiarity of this work is the hypothetical assessment of the Orem model application. This article, however, details the relevance and importance of caring through Orem’s theory.

The second article is devoted to studying the effectiveness of the Orem model in the practice of caring for patients with multiple sclerosis fatigue. Unlike the previous study, this is not a theoretical study. This experiment involved 63 people with multiple sclerosis (Afrasiabifar, Mehri, Sadat, & Shirazi, 2016). The Orem model was applied to patients for one month, during which six sessions were performed. During this time, medical staff collected sufficient statistical data through regular questionnaires. As a result, the average fatigue after the self-care sessions has decreased significantly, according to the patient surveys.

This paper describes in detail the effectiveness of the Orem model for the rehabilitation of patients with multiple sclerosis. Dorothea Orem attaches great importance to the individual’s personal responsibility for his or her health. However, much of the health of a person can be determined by the family dynamics in which he or she lives. The principles of primary health care based on the Orem model focus on creating an environment in which the patient has the opportunity to take care of himself without the involvement of the family. Of course, family support plays a significant role in every phase of rehabilitation, but it is especially important in the stage where the nurse provides half of the possible care.

The importance of nurses in today’s world is under rapid review. Already today, these people can provide rehabilitation and care to patients with a variety of medical theories of care. One such method is the Orem model, which puts the issue of self-care first. Orem believes that everyone, regardless of their state of health, tends to take care of themselves. The only difference is what proportion of services a nurse should provide. The Orem model has proven to be a useful rehabilitation model for patients with heart disease and multiple sclerosis. In other words, based on Dorothea Orem’s theory, the main task of the medical staff is to motivate the patient to recover by creating an environment for help.


Afrasiabifar, A., Mehri, Z., Sadat, S. J., & Shirazi, H. R. G. (2016). The effect of Orem’s self-care model on fatigue in patients with multiple sclerosis: A single blind randomized clinical trial Study. Iranian Red Crescent Medical Journal, 18(8), e59188.

Martsolf, G. R., Gordon, T., May, L. W., Mason, D., Sullivan, C., & Villarruel, A. (2016). Innovative nursing care models and culture of health: Early evidence. Nursing Outlook, 64(4), 367-376.

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Naz, S. (2019). Application of Dorothea Orem’s Theory into Nursing Practice. Journal of Rehman Medical Institute, 3(3-4), 34-37.

Smith, M. C., & Parker, M. E. (2015). Nursing Theories and Nursing Practice. FA Davis.

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"The Orem Model: Care About Patient's Inner Desire." StudyCorgi, 10 July 2021,

1. StudyCorgi. "The Orem Model: Care About Patient's Inner Desire." July 10, 2021.


StudyCorgi. "The Orem Model: Care About Patient's Inner Desire." July 10, 2021.


StudyCorgi. 2021. "The Orem Model: Care About Patient's Inner Desire." July 10, 2021.


StudyCorgi. (2021) 'The Orem Model: Care About Patient's Inner Desire'. 10 July.

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